Insurance Can Be A Hazard To Your Health


Cathy Ochs, PA-C, says we need a health care financing system, not an insurance health care system.


Did you know health insurance can be a hazard to your health? Having health insurance is a double-edged sword. You need it to pay for surgery or a hospitalization, but outside of catastrophic needs, health insurance fails dismally.

I have seen the failures of health insurance first hand. Patients wait for pre-approval of tests (such as MRIs) and referrals which result in delaying their diagnosis and receiving care. Insurance companies only pay for the drugs on their list, not the ones that are best for you.

The Insurance Game

The health insurance industry scrambles to contain costs by reducing coverage they offer and reducing what they pay the doctor. To make up for the reduction in reimbursements, doctors must see more patients each day. As a result, patients spend less time with their doctor, while paying more in premiums with less benefits. This is a no-win cycle – no wonder the health of our nation is dead last in a recent survey of 11 developed countries!

Here’s the crux of the problem: health insurance was never intended to finance all our health care needs. Originally it was used for accident and disability coverage for the railroad and steamboat industries in the early 1900’s.

Health Care Finance

Ultimately what we need is a health care financing system, not an insurance health care system. Insurance is something you buy hoping you never have to use it. The insurance industry is successful because people who buy the policies are motivated to avoid making a claim.

Health care is different. All people need and will use health care whether they are sick or want to get and stay well. Imagine if the majority of people’s houses burned down and made a claim. The insurance company would either go under or have to raise rates and reduce coverage. This is what’s happening with our health care insurance system.

Use your health insurance like you do your house insurance. You hope you never need it, but just like if your house burns down, you’re glad you have it.

We Never Hurry or Rush

Integrative medicine providers want to spend time with patients and partner with them to provide the best care, not be forced to give care dictated by a third party. For all these reasons, we do not bill insurance at Redding Integrative Medicine.

Paying cash eliminates the middle man and helps re-establish the patient-doctor relationship. We make decisions for your care based on what you need, not what’s on a list somewhere.

Help Us Help Yourself

I urge you to share these thoughts with your state representatives. On a national level we need to change the debate from health insurance to health care financing which focuses on helping patients restore their health and reduce the need for catastrophic care. This makes the best sense financially and improved health for all.